The Art of Collecting Customer Feedback

Asking customers for feedback isn't too different from asking anyone else for feedback. Every customer that had bought from you possesses valuable information that can be used as a guide for improving your service. More than that, it can be a source of new ideas and product features to bring out for discussion.

Imagine you spend a couple hours drafting a proposal and once it's ready, ask a colleague to take a look. Chances are high, that she makes suggestions and asks questions that never even occurred to you.

There are many thoughts and ideas that haven't come to your mind. That's why customer feedback is so crucial. Here's how you ask for it the best way.

Crafting the questions to ask

The survey you're going to run should have a clear purpose. Not only to make sure that in the end, you get the insights you need but also to motivate your customers. Make it abundantly clear how the time and effort they're about to give you will help improve their experience in the future. Knowing that their opinion is useful and valued can help motivate customers to a) take the survey, b) diligently answer each question. So, start off by asking yourself: "Why do we need this survey?"

One of the things you should keep in mind when drafting your list is that there shouldn't be too many questions. Try asking a few thoughtful and specific questions. That way there's a higher chance to get higher quzlity answers.

5 channels for collecting customer feedback

The problem comes from thinking that there are the only surveys and polls are workable for asking for feedback. And too often they are seen as a one-size-fits-all solution for businesses of any size and industry. To find the way out of this spot, here are five channels you can use to gather feedback in the most suitable method for your business.

#1 Short and long feedback surveys

Remember: a useful customer survey is tangible proof of hours of efforts. That task is much more complicated than it may seem. Why? Roughly speaking there are hundreds of questions you could put your clients, but not all of them are suitable and valuable in terms of potential answers.

There are dozens of various services (Qualaroo, Survey Monkey, GetFeedback, etc.) that enhance the process of creating surveys. Besides, you can set a short poll for collecting fast feedback from active customers who browse your website. This type will include a few quick questions. For the long-form survey, you need to choose customization settings and type the questions you want to ask.

A well-placed question uncovers insights and provokes new ways of looking at the service you provide. So, keep the simple rules to do your feedback surveys that customers will complete indeed.

  • Put questions that accomplish the end goal.
  • Try to make the questions smart and open-ended.
  • Put one question per time.
  • Exclude loaded questions.

#2 Email for a candid customer feedback

The value of email in business performance for some brands proved its usefulness, and for others was a kind of disappointment. Once again - there no fit-all-solutions. Although, this channel can help you to reach out to clients and get insights for delivering a better customer experience in future.

To make the email feedback collection actually work, you should

a) Ensure that customers will get a fast response,
If clients think that you (representer of brand) don’t care about their opinion, they don’t complain as well as don’t leave feedback. Unhappy customers rarely leave feedbacks, angry customers may leave negative emotional feedback, yet it doubtfully brings you much value. However, these clients will leave feedback on the condition they know when you hear back from the brand. Try to add in your email a line “We’ll get back to you in X days.” - it may bring a considerable change.

b) Organize a feedback system, and
To make sure that none of the good feedback lost, sort them out in folders. For example, feature requests, features that are in development, and features on the roadmap (the one you plan to add in future). Within feature requests, you can create division into “new ideas,” “rejected ideas,” and “maybe ideas” (these ones seem to be good, but not urgent.) Moreover, along with the ideas you have the addresses of clients who suggested them, so you may notify them later - when the option will be available for usage.

Once everything is organized, you know what customers expect from you, and support agents and other managers know how to run future interactions with these customers.

c) Send personal follow ups.
The most straightforward way to get an honest response from a customer is to ask for. You can run quite interesting conversations with customers via email. Unlike social media, it won’t be public, and unlike a feedback survey, it will be personal.

When a client signs up for your updates or information via email, grab this opportunity and ask a question. This can be: What problem do you want to solve with our help? What feature do you like best? Or Why did you sign up? But be sure to reply to these emails. Otherwise, customers will feel like you let them down and they won’t email you again.

#3 Social media listening

It’s not always easy to ensure you get the information you need from a client, so go to social media and check direct comments, mentions, or merely run built-in polls. To gather honest feedbacks, you can run a brief poll on Facebook, for example. This makes sense in terms you don’t distract your customers from more important goals with the on-site survey.

#4 Direct customers interviews

Many customers give their preference to personal interactions. Don’t miss the opportunity to communicate the feedback questions clearly. Listen to the clients and focus on their attitudes. By understanding users’ impressions and problems, you figure out what should be advanced, what altered, and what is useless.

Also, you may ask customers to tell about the instances of interacting with your website, product or service where they were satisfied, wowed, and where something went wrong. Some solutions allow sharing the screen view, so your customers can show how they work with your service and what they like and don’t like about it. Distance is not the problem for a face-to-face interview in our digital age.

#5 Website instant feedback

Look at your website analytics with a keen eye - there you may find information that customers don’t tell. How to do this? Let’s illustrate this point. You offer a FAQ section as a channel for customer support. So customers have some questions, go to the required page and get the answers. Sweet! Everyone is satisfied. But do you check how they apply this answers? Your FAQ section has 0:07 average on-page and epic bounce rate. It’s an alarming situation. Your customers derive nothing valuable from the content you offered. The instructions may be too vague or outdated. This is already valuable customer feedback and place to improve.

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